Anyone thinking about welcoming a pet into their home this Christmas is being urged to consider fostering first.
The DSPCA is warning that its shelters are now “extremely full” with an increase in lost sick and injured animals being handed in over recent weeks.
There has also been an increase in cruelty cases and the charity has said it is now reaching its capacity to care for new arrivals.
DSPCA spokesperson Gillian Bird said there is a real concern there will be another surge in dogs being abandoned after Christmas.
She is urging anyone thinking of getting a pet this Christmas to think about fostering first.
“We are extremely full,” she said.
“We’ve had a huge increase in the number of animals coming into us – both the lost sick and injured but also unfortunately some of the cruelty cases.
“So things are fairly busy at the moment and we are trying busily now to get a lot of the animals out to foster care to make room for anything else that comes in over the Christmas period.”
She reminded people that while the idea of a new pet is lovely, the reality involves a lot of work.
“Why not foster an animal with the DSPCA or with your local animal charity over the Christmas period,” she said.
“This will give you a really good idea as to whether you are actually ready to take an animal into your household.
“The animals we would be fostering out would be mainly dogs and cats but there can be lots of different ages, breeds and sizes.
“So, it is a really good way of seeing whether you have the time in your life for a pet.”
They wouldn't survive living alone as stray kittens & we need your help to keep saving their lives. They can't ask, but we can - Please Be A Good Human & donate to our Christmas Appeal https://t.co/ac6S8PLcxI#beagoodhuman #dspca #whosagoodhuman #Christmas #charity pic.twitter.com/6APPj3FLks
— DSPCA (@DublinSPCA) December 8, 2023
Earlier this year, the charity launched an urgent fundraiser warning that a combination of COVID adoptions and the cost-of-living crisis has led to a surge in surrendered pets.
The charity is also running its Be a Good Human Campaign in the runup to the holidays, with a range of tips on how to protect your pet this Christmas.
Donations can be made at the DSPCA website, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 01 499 4717.
Pet owners who are struggling to take care of their animals can seek help from the DSPCA.